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The Book of Jesus

Chapter Two

The New Amsterdam Publishing Company
Copyright © 1997

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The Word (continued)

NARRATOR.
There was a man sent by God and his name was John, the Baptist. This same man came as a witness, a man to bear witness of the Light, so that everyone through him might believe. He was not the light, but was sent to bear witness of the Light. The Word was the true Light that enlightens all men and he was coming into the world. He was in the world that had its existence through him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own people and they did not accept him. But as many as did receive him, to them he gave power to become sons of God. To all who believe on his name, who were born not of blood or will of the flesh or the will of man, but of God. And the Word become flesh and lived among us. And we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only-begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of him and cried, saying:
JOHN the BAPTIST.
This is the one of whom I spoke. He who comes after me, ranks before me, because he existed before me.
NARRATOR.
And of his fullness we have, all of us, received grace upon grace. For though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No man has ever seen God at any time; it is the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom position of the Father, who has made him known.

John 1:6-18

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The Preaching Of John the Baptist

NARRATOR.
The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as it is written in the book of the Prophet Isaiah:
'Look I am going to send my messenger before you; and he will prepare your way.'
Now in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ithuraea and of the region of Trachonitis and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, during the time when Annas and Caiaphas were the high-priests; the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole district of Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of Isaiah the Prophet: This was the man Isaiah spoke of when he said:
'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare you the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled in and every mountain and hill brought low, and the crooked will be made straight and the rough roads made smooth. And all flesh will see the salvation of God.'
And so it was that John the Baptist appeared; preaching in the wilderness of Judaea and saying:
'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.'
This man John wore a garment of camel-hair and a leather belt about his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judaea and the whole district of Jordan went out to him and they confessed their sins and were baptized in the river Jordan by him. But when John saw a number of Pharisee's and Sadducees coming to his baptism he said to them:
JOHN the BAPTIST.
Oh generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath that is coming? Therefore bring forth fruits appropriate for repentance and don't say within yourselves; "We have Abraham for our father", because I tell you, God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. Yes, even now, the axe is laid to the roots of the trees, so that any tree which does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
NARRATOR.
And the people asked him:
PEOPLE.
What must we do then?
JOHN the BAPTIST.
If anyone has two coats he must give one to the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same.
NARRATOR.
There also came tax collectors to be baptized by him.
TAX COLLECTORS.
Master, what must we do?
JOHN the BAPTIST.
Exact no more than your rate.
NARRATOR.
Some soldiers also questioned him.
SOLDIERS.
What about us, what must we do?
JOHN the BAPTIST.
Do violence to no man, neither accuse anyone falsely, be content with your pay.
NARRATOR.
As the people were in expectation of the Messiah, they started asking themselves whether John was the Christ or not. So John declared before them all:
JOHN the BAPTIST.
I indeed baptize you with water, but the one who comes after me is more powerful than I am. I am not worthy to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals or carry them. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand to purge his threshing floor. He will gather the wheat into his barn and the chaff, he will burn in a fire that will never go out.
NARRATOR.
And he preached many other things in his exhortation to the people.

Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-18

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The Genealogy of Jesus According to Luke

NARRATOR.
When Jesus was about thirty years old he began to teach.
As was consensus, he was thought to be the son of Joseph,
the son of Heli,
the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi,
the son of Melchi,
the son of Jannai,
the son of Joseph,
the son of Mattathias,
the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum,
the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai,
the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias,
the son of Semein,
the son of Josech,
the son of Joda,
the son of Joanan,
the son of Rhesa,
the son of Zerubbabel,
the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri,
the son of Melchi,
the son of Addi,
the son of Cosam,
the son of Elmadam,
the son of Er,
the son of Joshua,
the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim,
the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi,
the son of Symeon,
the son of Judah,
the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam,
the son of Eliakim,
the son of Melea,
the son of Menna,
the son of Mattatha,
the son of Nathan,
the son of David,
the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed,
the son of Boaz,
the son of Sala,
the son of Nahshon,
the son of Amminadab,
the son of Admin,
the son of Arni,
the son of Hezron,
the son of Perez,
the son of Judah,
the son of Jacob,
the son of Isaac,
the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah,
the son of Nahor,
the son of Serug,
the son of Reu,
the son of Peleg,
the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah,
the son of Cainan,
the son of Arphaxad,
the son of Shem,
the son of Noah,
the son of Lamech,
the son of Methuselah,
the son of Enoch,
the son of Jared,
the son of Mahalaleel,
the son of Cainan,
the son of Enos,
the son of Seth,
the son of Adam,
the son of God.

Luke 3:23-38

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The Baptism Of Jesus

NARRATOR.
It was at this time that Jesus appeared. He came from Nazareth in Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized there by John. However, John tried to dissuade him.
JOHN the BAPTIST.
It is I who need baptism from you and yet, you are coming to me!
JESUS.
Leave it like this for now, for it is proper that we should, in this way, fulfill all that righteousness requires.
NARRATOR.
At this, John gave in to him. Now when all the people had been baptized and while Jesus after his own baptism had come up from the water and was at prayer, the heavens were suddenly opened and torn apart and John saw the Spirit of God descending in bodily shape like a dove and coming down on Jesus. And a voice spoke from heaven:
'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'

Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22

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The Temptation in the Wilderness

NARRATOR.
Immediately after his baptism; Jesus, filled with Holy Spirit; left the Jordan and was driven out into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted there by the devil and he was with the wild beasts. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and fasted, after which he was very hungry. The tempter then came to him and said:
SATAN.
If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be turned into loaves of bread.
JESUS.
Scripture says: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'
NARRATOR.
Then the devil led him to the Holy City of Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple.
SATAN.
If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for scripture says: 'He will give his angels charge concerning you', and again: 'On their hands they will bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.'
JESUS.
It has also been said in the scriptures: 'You must not put the Lord your God to the test.'
NARRATOR.
Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
SATAN.
I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been delivered to me and I can give it to anyone I choose. I will give you all these if you fall down at my feet and worship me. Worship me then, and it will all be yours.
JESUS.
Be off Satan, For it is written: 'You must worship the Lord your God and only Him should you serve.'
NARRATOR.
Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him for the time being. And the angels appeared and looked after him.

Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12,13; Luke 4:1-13

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The Witness of John the Baptist

NARRATOR.
This is the witness of John the Baptist when the Jews sent priests and Levities from Jerusalem to him, 'Who are you?' John answered and denied emphatically:
JOHN the BAPTIST.
I am not the Christ!
PRIEST 1.
Well then, are you Elijah?
JOHN the BAPTIST.
I am not!
LEVITE 1.
Are you the Prophet? [DT 18:16-22]
JOHN the BAPTIST.
No!
PRIEST 2.
Who are you, so that we can give an answer to those who sent us?
LEVITE 2.
What have you to say about yourself?
JOHN the BAPTIST.
As Isaiah the Prophet spoke: "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord,"
NARRATOR.
Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees and questioning him further they asked:
PRIEST 3.
Why are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, not Elijah and not the Prophet?
JOHN the BAPTIST.
I baptize with water, but in the midst of you there stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me, the one whose sandal strap I am unworthy to undo.
NARRATOR.
Now these things took place on the far side of the Jordan where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him.
JOHN the BAPTIST.
Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. This is the one of whom I spoke when I said: 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he existed before me.' I did not know him myself, yet, it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptizing with water. I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it rested on Him. I didn't know him, but He that sent me to baptize with water had said to me;
"The man on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, this is the one who is going to baptize with the Holy Spirit."
And I saw, and bare witness that he is the Son of God.

John 1:19-34

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The Lamb of God

NARRATOR.
The next day, as John stood there again with two of his disciples, he looked at Jesus as he passed and said:
JOHN the BAPTIST.
Behold, the Lamb of God.
NARRATOR.
Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turning around and seeing them following him said:
JESUS.
What do you want?
DISCIPLES.
Rabbi, (teacher) where do you live?
JESUS.
Come and see.
NARRATOR.
So they went and saw where he lived and stayed with him that day for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. Andrew then found his brother Simon and said to him:
ANDREW.
We've found the Messiah, the Christ!
NARRATOR.
Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. When Jesus saw him he said:
JESUS.
You are Simon, the son of John. You are to be called Cephas.
NARRATOR.
Cephas, when translated means a stone. The next day Jesus left and went into Galilee. Meeting Philip he said:
JESUS.
Follow me.
NARRATOR.
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him:
PHILIP.
We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one of whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
NATHANAEL.
Nazareth! Can anything good come from that place?
PHILIP.
Come and see.
NARRATOR.
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him:
JESUS.
There is an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.
NATHANAEL.
How do you know me?
JESUS.
Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.
NATHANAEL.
Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.
JESUS.
Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, you believe? You will see greater things than this. Hereafter, you will see the heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

John 1:35-51

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The Wedding At Cana In Galilee

NARRATOR.
Three days later, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there and both Jesus and his disciples had been invited to the wedding. When they had run out of wine, Jesus' mother said to him:
MARY.
They don't have anymore wine.
JESUS.
Woman, why are you turning to me, my hour hasn't come yet?
NARRATOR.
His mother then said to the servants:
MARY.
Do whatever he tells you to do.
NARRATOR.
Now there were six stone water jars standing there that were customarily used by the Jews for purification and each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.
JESUS.
Fill the jars with water.
NARRATOR.
And they filled them up to the brim.
JESUS.
Now draw some out and take it to the banquet manager.
NARRATOR.
They did this. When the banquet manager tasted the water which had been turned into wine, he called the bridegroom. The banquet manager however did not know where the wine had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water did. And he said to the bridegroom:
MANAGER.
As a rule, people generally serve the best wine first. But when everyone has been drinking for a while, they bring out the new, unaged wine. You, however, have saved the best wine until now.
NARRATOR.
This was the first of the signs given by Jesus at Cana in Galilee. He permitted his glory be seen and his disciples believed in him. After this, he went to Capernaum along with his mother, his brothers and his disciples. However, they only stayed there for a few days.

John 2:1-12

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